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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-17-2012, 12:29 PM
bimmerized bimmerized is offline
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Replace subframe reinforcement plate bolts?

Does anyone know whether the subframe reinforcement plate/bar bolts need to be replaced whenever removed? I read in the Bentley Manual that these are stretch bolts and should be replaced whenever removed. Do I really need to replace these bolts? They cost at least $3 each (x8) and no DIY I've read mentioned replacing these... Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 09-17-2012, 12:40 PM
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smolck smolck is online now
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I assume you mean the aluminum brace under the front subframe. I never buy new and have never had one fail.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:00 PM
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djstrachan djstrachan is offline
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BMW and Bentley will tell you they need to be replaced each time. Others (Smolck) never replace them.

I have re-used mine before with no failures but after two "re-tightenings" was getting nervous and bought new ones the last time I removed the brace.

My BMW Tech said it is a gamble and that they can become "fatigued" with re-tightening and if they fail, it is a real pain to get them out as they are very tight!

BTW - They're $6.50 each up here!!
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2004 325i - Sport package - 5MT- clears - CDV mod - M3 gauge faces w/silver gauge rings & red needles - SS exhaust tips - strut tower brace - Hotchkis anti-sway bars -50% tint - shadow grills - roof spoiler - silver CF trim
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:42 PM
bimmerized bimmerized is offline
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thanks guys, I don't think mine have ever been removed. So am I good for one more go around? I'm doing the oil pan gasket. Want to do a good job without having to go back or have something go wrong. I'm not as concerned about the bolts breaking as much as them coming loose since they were stretched tight once already and may not be as tight subsequently.

Decisions, decisions. BTW, BAV Auto has them for $3 ea, but I found them for $3.69 from a place that I'm ordering other stuff from so I'll save on the shipping; still $28 just for bolts...geez.

What do all the Indy's do? not replace?
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:17 PM
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djstrachan djstrachan is offline
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Smolck is likely the most experienced "Indy" on this forum and he has told you what he does.

If you are worried about the bolts loosening but not breaking, use some blue thread lock and that isn't an issue.

Like the BMW tech told me, "you are likely fine to re-use them once, but there are no guarantees. They are engineered to perform in a certain way only once. After that...".

I have re-used mine twice before which equates to 3 actual re-tightenings. I had no problems.
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I'm not a pessimist. At some point the world sh!ts on everybody. Pretending it ain't sh!t makes you an idiot, not an optimist.

2004 325i - Sport package - 5MT- clears - CDV mod - M3 gauge faces w/silver gauge rings & red needles - SS exhaust tips - strut tower brace - Hotchkis anti-sway bars -50% tint - shadow grills - roof spoiler - silver CF trim
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  #6  
Old 09-18-2012, 07:29 PM
RivMcLean RivMcLean is offline
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I had the same concern when I did my CABs, so I bought the bolts. I got them from the dealership, being a BMWCCA member I got a discount, I remember the cost as 3 bucks and some change. There is a torque and an angle measurement (I forget the tech name) of 60 to 90 degrees after the torque. It was a small price to pay for peace of mind. Besides, if it's going to go wrong, I rather read about it, than have to fix it.
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:29 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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You want to buy an expensive car used for a bargain price, but expect to enjoy all the advantages of driving a car that still feels like a premium car and has all the safety features too.
Just because it depreciates in value doesn't mean that you should cheap out on parts. If there is any doubt as to the integrity of reusing these bolts, just put new ones in. Keep the car in great condition.

Use www.furiousmethod.com to get the best price. Think I got them for under $3 each.
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